The Good Life (What is it?)
Updated: Apr 23
Many of us live much of our lives believing something is either amiss or not okay, whether personal or external, and that only when we either remove or add the necessary element required to solve the discomfort, we might live the life we were working so hard for.
However, even if we fix or attain much of what we desire in life, in every goal as in every issue, something still seems to stay amiss, regardless of our endeavors, and the journey towards whatever we image as the good life extends with or without us being aware of its frustrating extension.
Life appears to be a struggle towards something that does not exist, no matter how hard and passionately we attempt to define it. In Judaism, there is hope for the Messiah to come and bring us salvation from this world.
In Christianity, there is hope for Christ to arrive in the mortal world and initiate the Day of Judgement, where Christ's true followers will find salvation in the form of reaching heaven, while anyone else will be sent to hell for eternity. Take note that I am not an expert in religion, this is said on one leg, per se. We can learn from this that we humans, for centuries, have been yearning for the true "something," which will end our lifelong search for our version of a "good life".
Some believe the good life will only be found in an afterlife, after a life of servitude to a holy cause; others believe that only once they have enough money to buy everything they want in their possession will they attain the good life.
Finally, there are those who are on the spectrum of Nihilism and Existentialism. Those who may claim that such life does not exist or that we ourselves ought to create meaning while alive through methods such as art, altruistic deeds, and so on.
It can be sufficient for the creation of long-term satisfaction: a life that is well lived is a life where we are most satisfied, regardless of that satisfaction's source (servitude, hedonism, attaining accomplishments, and so forth).
Satisfaction is more than just joy; it transcends it by adding pride and productivity into the mixture, and hence the common hopelessness in a life that is purely built on just having fun, at least to some hedonists whose hunger requires more "food."
Personally, I've chosen the existentialist path in life. I believe that religious faith in the name of an afterlife is quite a gamble because no one truly knows what lies after we die, and logically, most people will end up in hell even if there was an afterlife in the heaven-hell form, since there were and are so many religions out there that every one of them has a chance to be true but not the rest.
When it comes to financial materialism, it should be obvious that a life of richness doesn't guarantee long-term satisfaction due to the short-term effect of monetary gain and purchase; in other words, you will eventually grow accustomed to richness to the point of it not having much of an affect on your happiness; hence, the rich have their own troubles and could be even less than happy during the period of their financial prosperity.
We are thus left with two solutions to the obstacle that stands in the way of the good life. We can either accept the might of the "something's not right enough", and choose to be fine with it – or we will take an active stand and actualize ourselves in order to make sure our lives aren't wasted. That way we can rest in a feeling of either pride of accomplishment, that our chosen paths in life have been done for whatever cause we dedicate ourselves to.
My childhood, while a happy one, was filled with emptiness regardless of how much I spent my days in joy. It was full of joy, but the joy itself was rather hallowed. Aside of schoolwork I had no reason to worry about things, as there was always food, shelter and affection to be received – and still, something was amiss. Simply spending my vacations and free time or with family... It felt insufficient. Even depressing at times.
It thus was during my early teens where I decided that I should try philosophizing, so my limited time in the world won't be wasted on mere joy. It is only when I write articles like this that I get to feel joy that is not hallowed like the one in my childhood. One that is also filled with a sense of contribution to the world, and now you can know why I have chosen Existentialism as a method of life. A philosophy that states: Existence precedes meaning. Thus, meaning is to be added to it by your own endeavour.
The expectation to have another body give you worth, is unrealistic, considering said body isn't within your control. At times, said body might not even be within your influence, as well. Then, why not find or create said meaning independently?